Passage for Exercise-11

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below:

   In today's fiercely competitive business environment, companies need to communicate information pertaining to a whole range of issues in a lucid and precise manner to their customers.

   This is particularly so in the case of companies which do business in areas such as manufacturing, information technology (IT), engineering products and services—companies whose products and services may not be understood by a customer not familiar with its technical aspects.

   These communication materials are prepared in a company these days by ‘technical writers who can effectively communicate to an

   The skills of a technical writer are being in- creasingly sought for preparing marketing documents such as brochures, case studies, website content and media kits and for the preparation of a whole range of manuals. Through technical writers in a company do a good portion of such work, the trend now is to outsource technical writing to freelancers.

   Technical writing and writing textbooks are poles apart. The former is aimed at those who donot have an in-depth knéwledge about a product and hence should be direct and lucid. Anoverdose
of technical terms and jargon would only add to the confusion of the customers.

   The basic requirement for being a technical writer is near— total mastery over English language. A technical writer should be natural in.creative writing and needs to be an expert in using Business English.

   This simply means that those with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature along with a diploma/ degree in Journalism and having a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications (PGDCA) are ideal candidates for being employed as technical writers.

   According to Joe Winston, Chief Executive Officer of ‘I-manager’, speaking ability is not imperative for a technical writer. All that one needs is the talent to write in a simple and effective manner. Many have inhibitions in speaking English but their writing skills would be very sharp.

   Technical writing would be a good option for such people. It a candidate is to be assigned the task of preparing high-end technical manuals, he/she is required to have higher qualifications such as an M.A./M.Phil. in English Literature and a degree such as M.C.A.

   Companies look for such qualifications because technical writers first need to understand the technical information themselves, before trying to communicate it in de-jargonised language to the
potential customers.

   However, it is also true that many companies provide rigorous on-the -job training to fresh technical writers before allowing them to graduate to high-end products.

   Though the demand for good technica! writers has risen sharply over the years, the emphasis is never on numbers but on skills.

   They point out that even graduates of English literature are often found wanting when it comes to creative and effective writing.

   Merely having the right mix of writing and com- prehension skills is not sufficient. A technical writer should keep his ‘writing blades’ constantly sharpened. It means untold hours of reading up the latest in the technological trends and ceaseless honing of one's Business English and writing skills. The nature of technical writing is such that a writer has to be at the peak of his expressive powers ineach piece of writing he produces.

   A career in technical writing is seen as a good choice for women mainly because it is widely held ‘that women are more adept at creative writing than ‘men and the job does not entail ‘graveyard shifts’ or ‘arduous travelling’.

   A beginner can expect to be paid anywhere between Rs.8,000 to Rs.15,000 a month. Technical writers usually join as executive technical writers and then go to become senior technical writers, team leaders, documentation heads and some even manage to make it toa management job within a decade. As in most private sector jobs, merit is the main criterion for rise in job.and not necessarily the number of years one has put in.

1. On the basis of your reading answer the following questions briefly:
  • (a) How do companies need to communicate information to the customers?
  • (b) What is the nature of the job of a technical writer?
  • (c) What is the basic requirement to be a technical writer?
  • (d) What should be the academic qualification of a technical writer?

2. Find words in the passage which means: clear

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